Thinking about how the Cycling Embassy might go about trying to generate political will to progress cycling, I’ve been researching previous failed attempts to advance cycling in this country. So on Amazon I snapped up a second-hand copy of an out-of-print British Medical Association book written in 1992: Cycling: towards health and safety.
People in Public Health are very interested in the bicycle because it keeps you fit — thus reducing incidence of obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, depression, etc, etc — in a way that can be effortlessly integrated into everyday routines. And because it provides an alternative to transport modes that cause thousands of hideous traumatic deaths and injuries, even more air pollution-related deaths, isolation-related mental ill-health, and so on.
From a quick flick through, I’m expecting all that to be covered, in addition to a section on “barriers to cycling” which looks like it might cause a cardiovascular event itself by chatting about the weather while ignoring the elephant in the room.
But also when I quickly flicked through, I noticed I was breaking the spine. This second-hand book has never been read, never been opened except to stamp “date of cataloguing 14 May 1992” and “disposed of by authority” on the inside cover. Where does this never-before-read book make its way to me from?
Perhaps it’s for the best.